Portlaoise Ladies AFC are leading the way in Division 1 after a fantastic win over current champs Kilcullen AFC at the Comms Grounds, Kilcullen last week.
Many of the supporters from both sides on the day described it as one of the best ladies game they had seen in years with end to end stuff from minute one.
There was no real dominant side in this fixture as it was tit for tat for the full 90 minutes. The home side were first off the mark on the 5th minute with Portlaoise conceding an early corner and as a result Kim Turner rifled it from the edge of the box making it 1-0 to Kilcullen.
Portlaoise then reacted well piling the pressure on the Kilcullen goal with efforts from Catherine Delaney and Nichole Dunphy going narrowly wide.
It was on the 37th minute that Portlaoise struck. It started with a wonderful out from the defence by left back Ellen Healy which found Jenny Conroy who sent a lovely ball over the top to Colleen Rickard. She showed great composure as she scored with a fine effort outside the box making it 1-1. It stayed level until half time with both sides playing some fantastic soccer.
The second half started franticly with Kilcullen and Portlaoise trying to get an early lead. It was Portlaoise who broke through the Kilcullen defence with a fine pass from Jenny Conroy again finding Colleen Rickard who took no time with an explosive finish making it 2-1 to Portlaoise on the 55th minute.
It was Portlaoise’s time to defend their goal and that they did with unbelievable defending by vice-captain Aisling Kehoe and player/manager Bernie Bowe. Their centre back partnership has been solid all year and it was no different againt Kilcullen.
Also in defence were Ellen Healy and Averil Westman who also played their part in keeping Kilcullen at bay. But it was Portlaoise keeper Natalia Cierpisz who refused to be beaten on the day as she pulled off some fantastic saves throughout the second half.
It has to be said, when Portlaoise got their lead they defended it in style with the game ending 2-1 to Portlaoise against a very good side in Kilcullen AFC. It puts Portlaoise top of Division 1 with 5 league games left. This gives the Portlaoise outfit a bit of breathing room at the top.